Yesterday the Royals demoted Opening Day starter Yordano Ventura to Triple-A and replaced him in the rotation with Jason Vargas, who was activated from the disabled list.
Vargas then exited last night’s start with an elbow injury, which the Royals now say is a torn ulnar collateral ligament (also known as the Tommy John surgery injury). So they’ve recalled Ventura from Triple-A, where he presumably hadn’t actually had a chance to arrive yet.
Last offseason Vargas signed a four-year, $32 million deal with the Royals as a free agent and he’s pitched about as well as could have been expected with a 3.76 ERA in 39 starts, but Tommy John surgery could knock him out of action until 2017.
It seems all but guaranteed that the Royals will be acquiring some level of rotation help between now and the July 31 trade deadline, with some speculation that they could be looking to make a big, top-of-the-rotation splash.
The Red Sox salvaged the final game of their three-game home series against the Astros, winning 4-3 on Sunday afternoon. In doing so, they ended the Astros’ 10-game winning streak.
Xander Bogaerts struck the decisive blow, knocking in a run with a double in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie. Michael Chavis also hit another homer — his eighth of the season — while Mookie Betts collected three hits and scored three runs to raise his OPS to .899.
The Astros last lost on May 7 against the Royals, the second game of a three-game series. The Astros won the final game of that set, then swept the Rangers in a four-game series, the Tigers in three, and won the first two games against the Red Sox. It’s their second 10-game winning streak of the season, as they won 10 striaght between April 5-16, sweeping the Athletics, Yankees, and Mariners before losing the second of two games against the A’s in Oakland.
At 31-16, the Astros are slightly behind the Twins — in progress as of this writing — for the best winning percentage in the majors. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have made up some ground after ending April 13-17. They’re now 24-22, good for third place in the AL East.